Oct. 18, 2009 trip continued…

Location: Guadalupe Island, Baja California, Mexico
Diving Day 2
The seas had calmed overnight and our move seemed to be for the better. Schools of mackerel were all around the boat; a very good sign. Small fish attract big fish big fish attract sharks. Even though the day started a bit slow, we soon had positive reports coming up from the cages. The excitement was building as another shark was sighted. The two sharks, a small female and a large one Chris, took turns coming up to look at the divers. While not in the rotation, a group of divers went out in the zodiac to get up close and personal with the island‚s marine mammals. Back in the cages, at least 5 different sharks were spotted throughout the day. Under the boat, once in a while, all the mackerel would rush in one direction being chased by Yellow Fin Tuna. Rushing and darting, the powerful aggressive tuna kept the mackerel schooled up under the boat. A few Yellow Tail Jacks came in to snack on the mackerel as well. Too soon, the dive day came to an end.  During cocktail hour, Mike hosted the 50/50 draw for prizes and donations to the Guadalupe and Socorro Conservation fun. After dinner, Dr. Mauricio Hoyos was able to come out and present his research.
Diving Day 3
The most beautiful morning yet. We had clear skies and calm seas. The stage was set for a great sharking day. Before the submersible cages even went down, we were getting reports from the surface cages that there were sharks in the water. The two females from the day before were circling under the boat. At 0800, the first rotation went down. For the next four rotations, we had multiple sharks around the cages. Shredder came in and made some real nice close passes around the divers, looking at them with his pretty blue eyes. Chris, the large female, looked as if she was either pregnant or had just eaten a whole elephant seal. Her belly was huge giving her an impressive girth. When she swam straight toward us, her face looked so small in comparison to her overall size.  Throughout the day, the sharks came and went. Meanwhile, the divers were excited about the photographs that were coming out of the water. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining. Towards afternoon, the Bairds Beaked Whales made their typical showing in the bay, surfacing to re-oxygenate before diving again. They are amazing breath-hold divers and reach depths below the light levels. That is where the most dangerous shark at Guadalupe Island lives: the Cookie-Cutter shark. We have seen evidence of them preying on most of the species that live here at the island, even the Great White Shark. In the cages, the dive day went by too quickly. Packing up the cages and lifting the anchor, we waved goodbye to the island and headed back to Ensenada.  This has been a very memorable trip with lots of history and wonderful stories. Between Bobs amusing antics, and the Morgan boys underwater concerts, it has made for a great trip for the Historical Diving Society.
Water: Sky partly cloudy, Wind slight breeze, Temperature 85°F, Swell 1-2‚ NW
Weather: Visibility 100-120‚, Temperature 68°F

By Nautilus Staff

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